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News and Notes: UC Launches Million Light Bulb Challenge, Upcoming Ally Trainings Offered

July 3, 2018

Let There Be Energy-Efficient Light

The University of California is spearheading a statewide effort to advance the purchase of 1 million high-quality, energy-efficient light bulbs for campus buildings and residences across the state.

Under the Community Buy Program, all UC students, staff, faculty and alumni can purchase light bulbs — at nearly half the price of online competitors — via the secure Million Light Bulb Challenge website and have them shipped directly to their homes.

The website features educational resources to help consumers understand their options and support their lighting purchases. Users can also see the total number of light bulbs purchased, estimated energy savings and estimated reduction in CO2 emissions.

The Million Light Bulb Challenge could result in significant energy savings and reduced emissions. Replacing 1 million 60-watt incandescent bulbs that are used about three hours a day would save 55.8 GWh per year, or 85 percent. This decreases CO2 emissions by 41,461 metric tons, which is like removing 8,900 passenger vehicles from the road each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas equivalency calculator.

Venture Lab Members Win $5,000 at UC Davis Competition

Tergis Technologies, a company founded by UC Merced Venture Lab members and UC Merced alumni Michael Urner and Paul Barghouth, won the Central Valley Innovation Award and $5,000 at the 2018 UC Davis Big Bang Business Competition.

Tergis Technologies is a medical device start-up company focusing on the abatement of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) through mechanical means instead of chemical approaches, and specializes in medical equipment used in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).

Urner graduated from UC Merced in 2014 with bachelor’s degrees in molecular biology and materials science engineering. Barghouth earned his bachelor’s degree in bioengineering in 2013 and earned his Ph.D. in quantitative and systems biology in 2017.

The Big Bang Business Competition offers resources for team building, education, mentorship and networking for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs and provides them with a forum to collaborate, develop and test business visions and plans.

Watch the video presentation submitted for the competition.

Ally Trainings in July

Social justice advocates: UC Merced offers two ally trainings this month to students, staff and faculty:

  • The Office of Campus Climate is hosting a three-hour Queer Ally workshop from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 13. The training provides information and resources to help be an effective ally to LGBTQ students and those questioning their sexuality. Space is limited; follow this link to RSVP. For more information, email De Acker or Angi Baxter or call the Office of Campus Climate at 209-228-2598.
  • Services for Undocumented Students hosts a two-day UndocuAlly training July 23 and July 25 for campus community members interested in supporting UC Merced’s undocumented students.

Each day of training lasts two hours, from 10 a.m. to noon, and participants are required to attend both sessions. Those who’ve not taken the training in the past two years are encouraged to sign up as a refresher. The training can accommodate 25 participants and those interested in attending are asked to register by July 16. To register, complete the form on the Services for Undocumented Students website. Attendees will receive a confirmation and a homework assignment to be completed prior to the training. For more information, email Ariana Mora Mero or call 209-228-4625.

Oklahoma Added to List of With Restricted State-Funded Travel

Last year, California issued a ban (AB 1887) on state-funded and state-sponsored travel to several states with laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people. These states currently include:

  • Alabama
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

State funds can’t be used for travel to these states by any employees of state agencies and departments as well as members of boards, authorities and commissions. This list is subject to change by the California Attorney General. For more information, please see the University of California’s frequently asked questions on the law or contact Travel Services.